CSOs deplore drop in budgetary allocation to agriculture in Kwara 



A coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has faulted the N6.9 billion, representing 0.44 per cent, allocated to agriculture in the N157.8 billion 2019 Kwara budget.

At a news conference on Tuesday in Ilorin, the CSOs under the aegis of the Budget Committee of the Public Financing of Agriculture (PFA) Project, described the amount allocated to agriculture as paltry.

The group said that agriculture remains the most viable vehicle for economic transformation in a place like Kwara.

It, however, expressed worry that the budgetary allocation to the sector was not in tune with the national and international benchmark in the last six years.

“It could be recalled that Agriculture was allocated a paltry 1.38 per cent of the state total budget in 2014, it was reduced to 1.29 per cent in 2015, 0.40 per cent in 2016 and 0.43 per cent in 2017.

“While the state government was applauded for the marginal increase to 2.92 per cent in 2018, it is strikingly appalling to see an outrageous reduction in percentage of budget allocated to 0.44 per cent in 2019, ” the group said.

It also lamented that women farmers have never been a priority to the state going by the consistent paltry and ambiguous allocation to the budget line.

“For instance, a paltry allocation of N1.3 million was made to this budget line in the 2018 budget, while a ridiculous N700, 000 was provided in the 2019 budget.

“This is saddening considering the strategic roles played by women farmers in the overall agriculture value chain,” said the CSOs.

The coalition, however, recommended that government should uphold the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) popularly known as Maputo Declaration and Malabo Commitment which stipulates 10 per cent minimum allocation of annual budget to agriculture sector.

The group also advocated for credit and loan facilities for farmers especially smallholder women farmers in the annual budget.

“We recommend that the budget line should clearly spell out the location and beneficiaries of credit facilities for easy monitoring.

“We reiterate our demand on the need to include CSOs and farmers in the monitoring and evaluation process on the implementation of the ministry’s projects and programmes.

“There is need for regular training and retraining of extension workers and increased funding of extension service department to strengthen their capacity.

“Smallholder farmers play major role in the Agric value chain. Therefore, there is need for more opportunities that will enable them to actively participate in prioritising agriculture initiatives that will be funded through budgetary allocation,” it submitted.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the coalition of CSOs include Centre for Community Empowerment and Poverty Eradication (CCEPE), Small Scale Women Farmers Organisation of Nigeria (SWOFON), Welfare for Children and Teenagers Initiative (WECTIN) and Community Need Care Development Initiative (CONCED).

Others are Save the Future of Children Initiative (SAFIN), Fulfilling Dreams Foundation (FDF), Organisation for the Sustenance of Nigeria Environment (OSNE), FEMCOM and the Meadow Community Development Outreach (MCDI).

The Budget Committee of the Public Financing of Agriculture (PFA) Project is sponsored by the Actionaid Nigeria.

Meanwhile, efforts to get the reaction of Mr Anu Ibiwoye, Special Adviser to Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed on Agriculture, on the issue proved abortive as he failed to pick calls or respond to the sent messages on his phone.

Tinubu commiserates Fayose over sister’s death Don urges labour leaders to shun selfish interest to earn public trust NGO to celebrate 60 outstanding Nigerians at diamond jubilee No gratification to process, effect outstanding payment – PTAD Bwari-Dutse traffic: FCTA to mobilise contractors back to site Ogun community demands king after 15 years of vacant stool  PDP calls for articulate strategies to mitigate flood  Anglican Primate wants programmes to cushion hike in petrol, electricity tariff YouTube reveals top tips of getting most of its music Edo Election: Govs. Buni, Bello meet Ize-Iyamu in Abuja LASG urges small, medium businesses to go digital Plateau teachers decry non-implementation of new minimum wage NASSI seeks more tax, levy waivers for MSMEs Oyo govt. leases Agbowo Shopping Complex, seals 50 years concession with investor United States expresses satisfaction over peaceful conduct of Edo election  CAS inaugurates 11 areospace ground equipment in Benue Engage professionals to make Nigeria work again — Chief Tola Adeniyi Lokoja Explosion: Buhari expresses concern, mourns victims Edo Guber polls: Solace from Gov. Wike paid off – Obaseki Fistula Foundation targets 50 VVF patients in free surgery in Sokoto Buhari greets ex-Abia Dep. Gov., Chris Akomas at 60 Niger Delta communities demand 13% oil, gas derivation funds LASG lists new standard operating procedures for abattoir operations — Commissioner Sweden friendly moved to Russia over virus entry restrictions Ondo poll: Don’t allow crisis to escalate among parties, INEC charges staff Baby factory, child abuse, other similar vices endemic in Enugu State — NAPTIP Court dismisses suit against Zamfara govt over dissolution of LG Chairmen NOTAP calls for more funding for research to accelerate Nigeria’s development Frank de Boer favourite to be named new Netherlands coach Ondo 2020: There is gang up against us — APC spokesman Gov. Lalong condemns murder of traditional leader in Barkin-ladi LGA APC Professionals Forum to partner NAN to achieve FG’s 9-point agenda Gov. Zulum launches 1m trees planting campaign in Borno NPA expects 19 ships with petroleum products, others at Lagos port AFAP pledges to make Lagos food processing hub Bayern Munich, Schalke, Eintracht Frankfurt warned for coronavirus concept breaches Buhari to attend Guinea Bissau National Day Celebration, inaugurate road named after him NAFDAC seals 2 fake drug factories in Kano Group promises to end touting in Abia Magu Probe: group cautions against Malami’s appearance as witness De Bruyne, Lewandowski, Neuer on UEFA player of the year shortlist Mali: Court fixes Friday to hear suit challenging ECOWAS sanctions HP, AUC sign MoU to foster entrepreneurial skills in Africa Gov. Sule approves N300m for payment of gratuities in Nasarawa UK Group supports 100 Nigerian businesses with $425m COVID-19: UNICEF, FG organise stakeholders’ dialogue on safe school resumption  Lagos Govt hands over 51 vehicles, 8 houses to judges NGO tasks farmers on climate smart agricultural practice NDLEA seizes 1,500kgs illicit drugs in Zamfara ASUU strike doing more damage than good to university education- NAS President